Four Allegories of Photography (for Northrop Frye)
From the programme: Embodying the allusive muses, this quartet of classically composed nudes is a statement about statements, art about sex, soft-core porn about literature, and homage to one of the unsung heroes of culture and gender theory.
Each of the Muses is named after a rhetorical device.
Northrop Frye was a philosopher of narrative, one of whose most famous ideas about organizing human experience was to talk about four directions or four seasons (roughly, in some ways, like the Hermetic humours). His home field was literature, but his ideas are applicable to any sort of cultural narrative. They can be likened to the progress of the seasons, and the evolution of an individual person; anything, in short, that involves telling ourselves a story. He was one of the first English-speaking philosophers to talk about gender as a narrative.
A capsule summary of some of the ideas referred to in the images:
- Metaphor: comparisons are made. East, Spring, Comedy.
- Synechdoche: a part suggests the whole. South, Summer, Romance.
- Erotesis: a question presupposes its answer. West, Autumn, Tragedy.
- Sententia: a long explanation is summed up with wit. North, Winter, Irony and Satire.
These pieces have shown at Artlab33.
Metaphor (East, Spring, Comedy)
Synechdoche (South, Summer, Romance)
Erotesis (West, Autumn, Tragedy)
Sententia (North, Winter, Irony and Satire)